Beneficiaries can pay
John Wilson describes Victoria’s infrastructure catch-22: “low levels of government debt attract a AAA rating, meaning government can borrow at very low interest rates, yet governments are reluctant to borrow, due to an obsession with protecting this rating” (Forum, 11/1).
He writes how public-private partnerships can come at a great cost to the community, and considers other means of funding, such as a national infrastructure fund, investment by superannuation funds or government bonds. There is another one, the system that built our roads, bridges and dams: local government and water rates.
The Brisbane to Gold Coast light rail will reportedly increase residential land values by up to $100,000. Why can’t local government capture a small portion of that increase to help fund the light rail’s cost of construction. Surely the beneficiaries should pay for necessary capital works? My local railway line was extended from Darling to Glen Waverley with a levy that ratepayers were happy to pay. God bless the wisdom of our forebears.
Bryan Kavanagh, Glen Waverley